Kuopio Theatre Extension by ALA Architects

Kuopio Theatre

Kuopio TheatreALA has now completed the renovation and expansion of Kuopio City Theatre. The public areas in the old building have been renovated to respectfully reflect their original design.
Kuopio TheatreThe stage mechanics of the main stage have been completely updated. The expansion, a simple rectangular volume located perpendicularly to the existing volume, houses the new flat-floored studio stage with flexible seating and stage mechanics.
Kuopio TheatreTo connect the old and new volumes, the public foyer has been extended with a bridge-like structure. The foyer extension forms a canopy over a new outdoor auditorium.
Kuopio TheatreWhen approaching the theater from the city center, the only visible alteration is the 4-meter add-on of the original stage tower, which forms a glowing glass lantern that leaves the distinctive shape of the old tower recognizable while inviting the public to the performances.
Kuopio TheatreThe existing Kuopio City Theatre is a 1960’s modernist building by architects Helmer Stenros and Risto-Veikko Luukkonen. The expansion includes a new 200-seat studio stage with flexible seating and stage mechanics.
Kuopio TheatreNew spaces are also provided for loading and logistics, costume manufacturing and  torage, and support functions of the new stage. The only visible alteration when approaching the theatre from the city centre is the four meter elevation of the theatre tower.
Kuopio TheatreThe stage technology for the ain stage will be completely updated, and the current tower has to be raised. The add-on will form a glowing glass lantern, leaving the distinctive shape of the old tower recognizable.
Kuopio TheatreThe actual expansion is a simple rectangular volume located perpendicularly to the existing volume. The new stage connects to the main stage like a orizontal version of the stage tower. It is a solid and permanent, contemporary addition which continues and complements the old structure with equal quality and permanence.
Kuopio TheatreThe public foyer is extended between the new and old volume as a bridge-like angled space, which floats above the new outdoor auditorium which is created between the old and new volume.
The old building has a beautiful and timeless material palette consisting of white concrete panels, glass and terracotta tiles. The extension is clad in white concrete panels with a wrinkled, varying surface form, which indicates a similar acoustically optimized cladding inside the new hall. Source by ALA.
Kuopio TheatreLocation: Kupio, Finland
Architects: ALA
Project Team: Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta and Samuli Woolston with Heikki, Riitahuhta, Toni Laurila, Pekka Sivula, Auvo Lindroos, Jyri Tartia, Harri Ahokas, Petra Grisova ja Gerard Gutierrez
Collaborators: Janne Pääkkönen (client representative), Juha Westman (user representative), Tanskanen Engineers Ltd. (structure and statics), Granlund Kuopio Ltd. (HVAC), Tauno Nissinen Engineers Ltd. (Electrical engineering), Blue Node GmbH (theatre technics), NCC Construction Ltd.(construction)
Area: renovation 8,000 m2 & expansion with new studio stage 3,500 m2
Year: 2014
Client: City of Kuopio
Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo
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